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Fallen Words Paperback – May 8, 2012
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“One of Japan's most important visual artists.” ―The New York Times on A Drifting Life
“A Drifting Life is as involving and thorough as any prose memoir, while remaining as immediate and concise as the best comics. It is, honestly, one of the most significant works the medium has ever produced.” ―The Onion, The A.V. Club on A Drifting Life
Top Customer Reviews
Listen, the dude is a legend in comix and even the worst story here is worth your time, but expect nothing of the tragic characters or moral ennui of the past gekiga works. D&Q rarely picks a flub, and this is no different. Recommended for the initiated.
The stories are all brilliant, bar none: Tatsumi sets all of them in the Edo period so the reader is treated to traditional Japanese culture set in a romanticised past, free of the Western influence of later years. They have a flavour of whimsy and fantasy about them - one involves a drunken artist paying for his bed and board by drawing some sparrows onto a screen. Once sunlight falls upon them, the sparrows come to life! In a different story, a man whose wife and mistress die after cursing one another through a voodoo-type doll, is haunted by their ghosts depicted as fiery spirits; while in another story a penniless man meets the God of Death and hatches a scheme to make money from the Grim Reaper.
The book is set out like a Japanese book so the reader has to read from right to left instead of left to right, though of course the writing is in English. It adds to overall experience of reading Japanese literature.
The aspect of the stories that I think will jar the reader are the endings which are by turns anti-climactic, bizarre, and slapsticky, as if Tatsumi ran out of space and abruptly ended each story on a strange note. This is in fact part of the "rakugo" style of storytelling where each story has comedic elements with the ending providing a punchline to the tale.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Level of graphic and literary artistry is top-notch. Drawn and Quarterly of Canada is doing a great service to humanity by making this and other books of this genre available to... Read morePublished on December 4, 2013 by Jahana
In Fallen Words Yoshihiro turns "Sit-Down Comedy" Rakugo (look it up) into manga, different from his usual Gekiga. Quite enjoyable read, Tatsumi's drawings are top-notch as usual. Read morePublished on September 16, 2012 by Campos